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Summary: This message examines the preparation and provision of power to the church and believers by our Saviour in order for us to carry out the Great Commission.

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Positioning for Power

Acts 1: 1-26

Introduction

There is a lot of talk about ‘power’, ‘signs and wonders’ and ‘Pentecost’. Often today the church fall into going into one of two extremes – it either looks for ‘power encounters’ or it so manufactures, organises, commercialises, programmes successful ‘powerful’ events that we lose sight of what the Bible teaches us about the divine power provided for believers and the church in Gospel witness. Today in examining the first chapter of Acts we will observe:

1. Presence Acts 1: 1-3

2. Promise Acts 1: 4-5

3. Power Acts 1: 6-9

4. Prayer Acts 1: 12-14

5. Provision Acts 1: 15-26

1. Presence Acts 1: 1-3

Luke continues from his Gospel to tell more of what Jesus did. The title of the book should really be ‘The Acts of the Ascended Jesus Christ’. Jesus appears to His disciples over a period of 40 days, there is so much significance with the period being 40 days. That is the time for preparation and positioning. The disciples are blessed with His presence. He ensures that the seminal church is held together during this period of transition. Additionally, He makes certain that they have sufficient proof that He was alive, v.3

The substance of His teaching was on the kingdom of God. This was a special time and one we should appreciate more than we do. Everything has a purpose! When our needs are greatest God’s presence is most needed. The presence of God provides the launching pad of courage in times of trial and difficult. It is the absence of the sense of God’s presence that makes struggles most acute.

2. Promise Acts 1: 4-5

Part of the preparation for the church was a key promise made by Jesus before His crucifixion – the promise of the Holy Spirit, v.4 this is called the gift my father promised and was spoken by Jesus. Then comes the comparison between the baptism of John’s with water and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, v.5. This takes us back to Luke 3:16

16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Here a contrast is made – water and fire. The fire is alluding to the way the Spirit would work in the midst of the church and the people in fulfilling the task set before it in its commissioning by Christ, v.8

3. Power Acts 1: 6-9

In response to the disciples’ concern for the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, Jesus presents them with a greater concern and task. Jesus here commissions the church to spread the Gospel after there comes to them the necessary Power, v.8. This reference relates back to the earlier one in v.5 – this is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It relates to empowering for the task of taking out the Word. No wonder the image of fire is used. The church and believers will be empowered by the Holy Spirit in a special way / a special baptism of the Holy Spirit which will make the Gospel spread like wild fire. It will consume all in its path. This power from the Holy Spirit is the Greek work dunamis (dunamis) - it is the same word from which the English word dynamite comes from. In the Greek there are two key words used for POWER – one which refers to authority and the word dunamis which is raw energy and prevailing force. We’ve got the POWER! The church has access to the POWER and each and every believer has access to the POWER by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.


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